Leads are people, a fact sometimes overlooked in lead-generation discussions. At Penton Media, however, getting a better understanding of the 6 million people in its audience—and making that data actionable— is a priority.
With its strong controlled-circulation heritage, Penton has amassed a wealth of data on its magazine subscribers, including title, company size, location, industry and purchasing authority. Those data are now being augmented with behavioral data on how audience members interact with Penton's e-newsletters, webinars, live events and other offerings.
Brad Mehl, Penton's VP-audience development, said, “We're actively capturing behavioral data from the audience on their interests in products and services in different categories. When you tie that behavioral data to the other information we have on specific business decision-makers, you get some very powerful business intelligence. We're bringing more to the table than lists of names.”
Joann Kropp, who joined Penton more than three years ago as VP-customer data solutions, is charged with monetizing that audience data. “We are bringing together all the information we have on our audience across the many touchpoints we have with them. We are able to sift through all of this data in order to target very precisely. This is driving higher-quality leads,” she said.
While the Web is the primary platform for lead generation, Penton does not neglect other forms of communication, including the telephone. “When we do magazine requalifications, we're talking to millions of people,” Mehl said. “We can use that process to answer additional questions of interest to our clients.” Penton has about 90 brands covering 17 different b-to-b markets, and the adoption of digital media varies among them. “Some markets are less responsive to email than most, so we do lots of telemarketing in those cases,” he said.
“We're having a lot of success with a multichannel, multitouch approach in lead-generation,” Kropp said. “We're doing more programs that include a mix of print, email, telephone and digital ads.”